Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tennessee, Other States More Aggressive with Medicare Reimbursement

Reimbursement for increasingly expensive healthcare treatments and long term care is an issue and states are finding more drastic solutions.  Even if property is willed, a state can still go after it to seek reimbursement of costs, or so the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled last week that the state's Medicaid program can go after the willed property of deceased patients who received long-term or nursing home care, as reported in Fierce Healthcare

The Volunteer State's High Court reversed the ruling of a lower court that the TennCare program could not seek the home of Ardell Hamilton Trigg, who had willed the home to relatives, the article noted.  The court's vote was unanimous on the matter.  Trigg had received care from the TennCare program between 2002 and 2006, when she died, according to the AP.  and incurred 22,000 in costs.

Long Term Care is a key source of bills for Medicaid.  Despite public perception to the contrary, Medicare does not pay for long term care and a provision in the recent Healthcare Reform Legislation for a funding mechanism was ruled out due to cost. Our report on this topic addresses how the industry is affected by these reimbursement challenges.